Episode 4-Careers in Accounting: Strategic Development and Mentoring

Our third installment of the Careers in Accounting Series presents information to help you focus on strategic initiatives to help you advance your career in accounting. If you are still undecided regarding a goal of sitting for the CPA exam, you can still benefit from the practical knowledge associated with setting goals, developing an ongoing plan for professional development, and the benefits of networking and mentoring can have in your career.

Article Source: 7 Tips To Advance Your Accounting Career:  Updated: August 12, 2019  Kenneth W. Boyd

https://www.ais-cpa.com/7-tips-to-advance-your-accounting-career/ (CPA Accounting Institute for Success)


Statistics issued by the BLS point out that in May 2017, the median wage for all workers was $37,690. The comparable figure for accountants and auditors was far higher at $69,350: nearly twice the average.

Here are seven tips to fast-track your accounting career:


1.      Become A CPA: It will provide you with a clear advantage whether you decide to work in public accounting or the finance function of a large corporation.

2.      Find A CPA Mentor: This individual has faced the same sort of problems and issues that you are confronting and has valuable insights to share. You don’t have to restrict yourself to one mentor. It is perfectly acceptable to have two or more. One mentor could help you with technical matters related to the accounting profession, and another may have inputs to offer on your career progression.

3.    Improve Your Networking Skills: Perhaps the most significant advantage of a vast network is that it puts you in a better position to find your next job. A recent survey of about 3,000 people found that networking is the primary route to finding a job.

4.    Keep Up With New Technological Developments: If you are a CPA, you must comply with the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements laid down by your state board of accountancy. This allows you to stay abreast with new laws and gives you the technical competence to provide the relevant advice and inputs to your clients or your employer.

5.    Gain Expertise In Different Areas Of Work: protect your long-term career prospects: don’t get bogged down in any one type of activity! You must try and gain experience in various areas. This is especially true in the initial years of your career.

6.    Focus On Your Soft Skills: These are essentially interpersonal skills that allow you to function effectively as a team member or as the leader of a group of employees assigned to a specific task. Soft skills include communication, empathy, decision making, time management, and conflict resolution.

7.      Ask For A Promotion: If you are a team player who is a role model for other employees, your chances for promotion will be higher. Focus on solving issues at work rather than complaining and thinking of reasons why a task cannot be completed.


The best approach is to take a long-term view. Ensure that you continue learning new skills and enhancing those that you already have.

Podcast Interview: Kelly M. Phillips, CPA - SHAREHOLDER

Kelly joined the firm in 2009, and she is responsible for client service, reviewing tax returns, managing staff workloads, and tax research. She is a charitable organization specialist, helping entities get their charitable status and maintain their exempt status once it has been approved. Prior to joining the Bell & Company Team, she began her accounting career in 2000 with a regional firm in Birmingham, Alabama. 

Kelly believes in good customer service and enthusiasm for the work she does. She works with all types of clients and is a frequent speaker to organizations about taxes for their particular industry. 

Kelly, her five children, two dogs, a cat named Taco, a turtle and four fish live in Sherwood. She spends the majority of her time outside of the office trying to keep everyone's schedules straight, and when she can find the time, reading. 

Kelly’s father and several other family members are accountants and this influenced her decision to pursue this opportunity as well after taking an accounting class in high school. She shares several stories that highlight opportunities in college and her early career. She also shares practical advice regarding how she has managed both professional and personal life to achieve her goals.

Article Source: Why Today's Professionals Are Taking The Career Road Less Traveled


Anant Agarwal : I am the CEO of edX (www.edx.org), an online learning destination founded by Harvard and MIT, and professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT.

The days of graduating and climbing the corporate ladder at one company for a decade seem like a distant memory.

·         edX research found that 29% of Americans ages 25 to 44 have completely changed fields since starting their first job post-college.

·         another study from Deloitte found that 43% of millennials plan to quit their current job within two years,

·         a report from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently cited by JP Morgan Chase & Co. found that job hopping, across all fields and titles, has become a widely accepted characteristic of the modern workforce.

A variety of factors can be attributed to the rise of the nonlinear career path, and professionals should be ready to take advantage of the opportunities it presents.

Reskill And Upskill Without Breaking The Bank: According to a New America report, the average U.S. student has a median combined $57,600 in debt accrued from undergraduate/graduate study. The same aforementioned edX study found that 39% of respondents say a chief driver of continuous job shifting is the desire for salary increase as they try to meet these hefty loan payments each month.

Additionally, a study by McKinsey found that over 375 million workers—or roughly 14% of the global workforce—may be forced to switch occupational categories as digital transformation, automation, and advances in artificial intelligence disrupt the world of work. Institutions of higher learning have responded by developing innovative online learning models to support those who want to hone new skills in developing fields like cybersecurity and data science – without having to pay the $30,000-$120,000 tab or quit work and go on-campus for one or two more years.

Embrace The Development Of Transferable Skills: Because there’s no longer a stigma associated with job hopping, employees have unlimited options when it comes to shaping their own career path. Those who change fields early and often have the opportunity to focus on the development of transferable skills – problem solving, time management and relationship building, to name a few.

[One interesting fact impacting the accounting profession is the inclusion of technology into a firm’s skill set. A recent AICPA study reveals that non-accountants comprise 31% of new hires in firms. By taking on some additional course study, you maybe able to improve your value within a firm through your increased training in what would traditionally be considered a “non-accounting” field.]

Diversify Your Network: Lastly, a major benefit of a nonlinear career paths is the expansive professional network that will undoubtedly result from changing fields early and often. By leveraging modern networking tools and attending events and conferences across industries, today’s young professionals will be more connected than any generation before them. Further, an employee’s prior experience in other industries can inspire a more holistic perspective that they can leverage to be more creative in their new role.

Affordable and accessible education opens the doors to develop the latest in-demand skills, as well as transferable skills that are valuable and applicable in every job situation. The fluidity of careers also allows for a diverse professional network, which can result in more frequent opportunities. What might you learn by taking the career road less traveled?